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November 11, 2005
For immediate release
Media Contact: Stephanie Williams, FRP Senior Publicist (504) 606-8728

The nation’s foremost producer of community cookbooks announced today the acquisition of The Booksmith Group, a company that works with colleges, universities, private schools and corporate clients to develop and market custom books commemorating anniversaries and other landmark events.

FRP is itself a division of Southwestern/Great American Inc. Established in Nashville, Tennessee in 1885, the company today is a diverse sales-driven, employee-owned corporation with more than 200 employee shareholders. With offices in the United States and the United Kingdom the corporation is comprised of multiple divisions focusing on one-to-one selling throughout the U.S., the U.K. and Canada. As a division of FRP, The Booksmith Group expands the company’s market penetration in the area of custom books.

Dave Kempf, FRP Division Vice-President: “FRP has a strong skill set in book development and design. The Booksmith Group’s skill set is in helping clients finance, warehouse and distribute their books with a strong concentration in market research. This is an exciting opportunity for us to leverage our in-house design, editorial and production services to increase the number of books we produce each year with minimal added staff, and directly impact the bottom line.”

Based in Brentwood, Tennessee, The Booksmith Group was founded in June 2004 to market custom gift books and services to schools and universities, corporations, organizations and non-profits to use for fund raising, celebrating events, and retail sales. Company Founder and President Steve Giddens, was previously President of Private Business Inc. (stock id: PBIZ). Mr. Giddens, in his thirty year career, held numerous successful sales and marketing management positions with The Quaker Oats Company and Carnation Company.

Steve Giddens holds a B.A. from The University of Texas at Arlington and resides with his wife, Linda, in Brentwood, Tennessee. “We are extremely excited about becoming a part of FRP. Their excellent reputation in publishing and marketing fine books will enhance our ability to service the broad market of custom book clients. FRP is an excellent fit for ensuring our mutual future success,” says Giddens of the recent acquisition.

As a division of FRP, The Booksmith Group will continue to work within a niche new to FRP, which is known primarily as a cookbook publisher. This new division will continue to create heavily photo-illustrated coffee table books on the history of institutions that contribute to clients’ fundraising and marketing efforts.

Currently on the press from The Booksmith Group are two local books of national interest. Designed for Worship is a project of Nashville Public Television and is a stunning visual tour of Nashville’s houses of worship. Designed for Worship features the work of award-winning photographers and writers and includes interviews with historians, architects, and religious experts exploring the rich history of Middle Tennessee religious architecture. Sumner County: Living the Good Life, a project of Forward Sumner Economic Council, celebrates the scenic beauty, historic homes and exceptional lifestyle that make Sumner County one of the best places in the country to live and work.

FRP was founded in 1961 by Millard Fuller and Morris Dees and was then based in Montgomery, Alabama. Mr. Fuller and Mr. Dees created the company to fund their college educations and became incredibly successful in the cookbook world. Both sold their interests in the company to direct the internationally-known ventures they now direct. Millard Fuller is founder and president of Habitat for Humanity® International. Morris Dees is the founder and director of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Since 1961, FRP has produced more than 800 titles, working with nonprofit organizations, culinary professionals, and corporations to create custom cookbooks that reflect the individuality of each client. FRP’s goal is to be an effective “partner” to ensure that each client’s book is the best it can possibly be. Full support and consultation are available in the creation, production, marketing, and distribution of a cookbook. FRP is a division of Southwestern/Great American, Inc.

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